LEAKED: Chord Redefines Portable Audio with ‘Mojo’
Slated for a worldwide release October 14, 2PM (BST) at a special event in London, Chord Electronics have been harbouring a little secret. While speculation had been rife as to what might be launched, we can now confirm the announcement of 'Mojo'.
Understandably, Chord had wanted to keep a lid on things until the launch, but it's hard to keep a secret these days even with a gentlemanly agreement in the form of an embargo. Chord's Canadian distributor, Blue Bird Music updated their website with full details of the new product days before the launch.
What can only be assumed as a deliberate move by the distributor was caught by sharp-eyed head-fi enthusiasts, posted to another popular forum within minutes, and freely available across the internet within hours.
So what is it? Mojo, is a 'Reference Quality Mobile DAC and High-Level Headphone Amplifier'. We know, because we've had one in the office for testing for a little while already. But embargo and all that, you know?
Designed and manufactured entirely in England, Chord have continued their quirky naming convention with 'Mojo', stemming from 'mobile joy'.
Building upon the learnings (and success) of the Hugo and Hugo TT, this ultra-small device (82x60x22mm) fits in the palm of your hand and enables your smartphone (Android and iOS) to become a reference grade digital audio player.
The ingenious thinking behind Mojo is that with the growing headphone market, combined with 4 billion smartphone users around the globe, more people can enjoy reference quality sound from the device already in their pocket.
While based on the Hugo design, Mojo uses the new Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA, which according to Chord, "makes Mojo the most advanced DAC of its type on the planet!."
Mojo can drive can drive two pairs of headphones simultaneously and is capable of driving any headphone between 4 ohms and 800 ohms. It can work with any music file from 44.1kHz up to 768kHz and DoP DSD files: DSD 64; DSD 128 and DSD 256. Mojo can decode a wide range of formats, too: PCM; WAV; AAC; AIFF; MP3 and FLAC files.
Input selection is fully automatic and includes Micro USB (768kHz/32bit), 3.5mm coaxial (768kHz/32bit) as well as Optical Toslink (192kHz/24bit). The file frequency is shown clearly by an indicator color option on the power switch, from 44.1kHz (red), 48kHz (orange) and so on, up through a rainbow of colours to bright white for DSD. The highly accurate low-distortion digital volume is controlled via two color-illuminated buttons.
Charging is via a standard USB port, with a new advanced high-temperature battery technology that allows the unit to be fully charged in 4 hours, providing up to 8 hours play time.
Mojo's casework is machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum, not looking out of place to the rest of Chord's range of products.
So how does it sound? We're in the process of finalising our full StereoNET review, but we can say this ... Mojo easily rivals the much more expensive and larger Hugo, offers great battery life, and negates the need for carrying around both a smartphone and a digital audio player.
Inputs and headphone jacks are on opposing ends of the Mojo. This does make 'pocketing' the Mojo a little difficult, but with a range of accessories and cases said to be available soon, hopefully this will become simpler. Clip Mojo on your belt, fire up your chosen USB audio application and be enjoying reference quality sound while mobile.
How Franks, Watts and team at Chord Electronics have managed to squeeze what they have into a device so small is revolutionary, and needless to say, we're impressed!
- 1 x Micro USB 768KHz/32-bit capable
- 1 x 3.5mm jack coaxial 768KHz/32-bit capable
- 1 X Optical Toslink 192KHz/24-bit capable
- 1 X Micro USB charging port
- 2. x 3.5mm headphone jacks
- Output power @ 1KHz
- 600 Ohms 35mW
- 8 Ohms 720mW
- Output impedance 75m Ohms
- Dynamic range 125dB
- THD @3V 0.00017%
- Weight 0.4 lbs
- Dimensions 82L x 60W x 22H (mm)
- True reference grade mastering quality
Chord Mojo is rumoured to be already in stock at Australian distributor, Radiance Audio Visual, with pricing said to be $899 RRP (unconfirmed at time of publishing).
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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